Finding employment while living in a regional area can be tough. That’s why running a small business is a popular option with people living in small towns.
But what is it really like starting a small business from scratch in a remote area? From a small, one-pub town in South Australia’s wheatbelt, to a working farm in Western Australia, Travel Counsellors run successful travel businesses from the most extraordinary places.
While running a home-based travel business from a rural or regional town comes with unique challenges, Australia’s enterprising Travel Counsellors have found ways to make their businesses successful.
Here are 4 habits that successful regional Travel Counsellors have in common:
1. They use technology to their advantage
It doesn’t matter whether you’re operating from a remote farming property in Western Australia or a small town in regional Queensland, if you have a laptop, phone and reliable internet connection, then you can run a successful business. Skyping with clients to chat about trip ideas, using email to send through quotes and using a laptop to work from the deck while supervising the kids as they play – technology bridges the gap to allow small businesses to operate anywhere, anytime.
2. They build strong local networks
In many ways, regional communities are a small business person’s best asset. Unlike in big cities, it’s usually much easier to get to know potential customers in smaller towns. With community spirit running strong in rural and remote places, small business owners are more likely to attract and retain loyal customers. Sure, they don’t have a big pool of potential clients that city dwellers living in well populated places do, but they have less competition and more opportunity for genuine connection and interaction than in a big city.
3. They provide tailored solutions for the community
Most large, bricks and mortar travel agencies don’t operate retail stores in smaller communities anymore. Travel Counsellors working in rural areas have been able to step in and fill this gap in the market by providing a much-needed service that the community has missed. From booking work trips for local business owners to organising overseas trips for school groups, Travel Counsellors are able to provide tailored solutions to their community without the large overheads that running a travel agency traditionally attracts. In fact, the Travel Counsellors business model allows agents to run a lean business, with insurance, technology, training and many other start up costs taken care of.
4. They stay connected with the team
Just because they might be working thousands of kilometres away from head office, doesn’t mean remote Travel Counsellors are isolated or cut off. At any point a Travel Counsellor can call through to the head office to ask a question or seek advice. Other Travel Counsellors throughout Australia provide a ready-made network of helpful friends who are on hand to advise, support, congratulate and commiserate via phone, Skype or email. The annual conference provides a yearly opportunity for remote Travel Counsellors to travel to the Big Smoke for mingling, learning and celebrating. Famil tours and rewards trips ensure Travel Counsellors can see the world and meet other agents, no matter where their office is. Far from being cut off from the world, Travel Counsellors working in remote locations are as connected with the team as agents working in urban areas.
Could running your own home-based travel business be just the type of opportunity you’ve been looking for? Contact us to have a chat about your options.